Nagaland rebel group NSCN-IM’s ‘Naga constitution’ under scanner

The NSCN-IM, the largest rebel group of the Northeast which signed a truce pact with the Central government in 1997, calls the shots in Naga peace talks.

Published: 11th October 2019 05:38 PM  |   Last Updated: 11th October 2019 05:38 PM   |  A+A-

National Socialist Council of Nagalim flag

National Socialist Council of Nagalim flag (Photo | Facebook)

Express News Service

GUWAHATI: Amidst the buzz on social media about the Centre acceding to the demand of insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) on a separate “Naga national flag” and “Naga constitution”, a conglomerate of some other rebel outfits of Nagaland has asked the NSCN-IM to clarify if it is demanding the acceptance of an “already-drafted Naga constitution” or the right to frame it.

“It is a figment of imagination to think that the Nagas would accept a constitution or Yezabo that hinges on demolishing centuries-old Naga heritage to give way to discarded political principles and philosophies which blinded failed dictators and despots in the last hundred years or so,” the working committee of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) said in a statement.

The NSCN-IM, the largest rebel group of the Northeast which signed a truce pact with the Central government in 1997, calls the shots in Naga peace talks. The NNPGs had joined the process two years ago.

As there is no transparency in the NSCN-IM-spearheaded talks, the Nagas do not have any idea on whether the Naga constitution has been already drafted. The NNPGs categorically stated that it has to be drafted by a committee of distinguished men and women from every tribe.

There are 16 recognized tribes in Nagaland but the Nagas have their settlements in neighbouring Assam, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Myanmar.

The NNPGs asked: “Has the Naga tribes converged and empowered their own very best brains to the Naga constitution drafting committee? Where is the Naga constitution? Who drafted it?”

It made clear that the Nagas “cannot accept an alien document as Naga constitution. It will not serve the purpose.

Whether the Government of India acknowledges or denies, the Naga constitution will have to come from the people and till Naga tribes agree to scrutinize, sanction and approve it with absolute conviction, Naga constitution…has no landing ground”.

Meanwhile, a day after the Centre and NSCN-IM held a fresh round of talks in New Delhi on Thursday, speculations are rife in the Northeast that the final Naga accord will be signed any day soon. The social media is abuzz with reports that the Centre has accepted the NSCN-IM’s demand for a separate Naga national flag and Naga constitution.

The Naga insurgency dates back to early 1950s. The rebels initially fought for “Naga sovereignty” until scaling down to the creation of a greater Naga homeland by slicing off the Naga-inhabited areas of neighbouring states.

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